Il Rinascimento come stagione della politica concordataria

Autore: Marco Pellegrini
In: I libri di Viella. 153

The early Renaissance was a period of rediscovery of the concordat as a way of healing the increasing clashes between popes and princes in Church affairs. After the Great Schism, the Papacy started to rebuild the monarchical pattern of Church government. Since many ecclesiastical prerogatives had fallen into the hands of secular rulers, the popes were confronted with a situation that they judged difficult but not impossible to accept. This perception led them to share their ruling powers with princes, through an act of self-limitation – that was a concordat. On the part of the secular authorities, a right of supervision on local Churches was claimed on the ground of a special care for the moral and intellectual quality of clergy against “corrupted” candidates supported by Rome. In fact, the power of selection was exploited in order to expand the patronage of kings and princes. As early as 1418, pope Martin V set out to strike a balance between Church and State in Europe and signed pacts with the main Western “nations” (nationes). The French concordat had a short duration and was replaced by the Pragmatic Sanction for many decades, whereas an agreement between the Apostolic See and the German world was easier to find. This led to the double concordat of 1447 and 1448, which lasted in the Austrian Empire until the XIX century. After a long quarrel, also the French crown found it expedient to come to a settlement and signed the concordat of 1516, which represented a milestone in the formation of the socio-institutional system of the Ancien Régime in France.